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Full text of "In memory of Katherine S. Dreier, 1877-1952: her own collection of modern art"

IN MEMORY OF 



Katherine S. Dreier 



18 7 7-1952 



HER OWN COLLECTION 



OF MODERN ART 



Property of 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 






BULLETIN OF THE ASSOCIATES IN FINE ARTS 
AT YALE UNIVERSITY 

Volume Twenty December 1952 Number One 




KANDINSKY, Vossily 



34. COMPOSITION, STORM, 1913 



IN MEMORY OF 



Katherine S. Dreier 1 8 7 7 1 



-1952 



HER OWN COLLECTION OF MODERN ART 



YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY 
15 December 1952-1 February 1953 



The Directors of the Yale University Art Gallery and 
the Curator of the Collection of the Societe Anonyme 
acknowledge with deep appreciation the assistance of 
Miss Mary Dreier and Mr. Marcel Duchamp in arranging 
this exhibition. 



Because of my close association with the formation of the 
Societe Anonyme, I feel deeply grateful to Yale University for 
this Memorial Exhibition of Katherine Dreier's private collection. 

To those who already know her great accomplishments in the 
Societe Anonyme, this private collection will make still clearer her 
infallible taste for unusual artistic expression. 

To all it will enlarge their vision of the role she played in 
America as a pioneer collector of modern art in the last forty 
years. The selection of her own painting will show the importance 
of her personal contribution to the movement as an artist. 

It is very gratifying, indeed, to see the dream of so clairvoyant 
a mind permanently inscribed in the Collection of the Societe 
Anonyme at Yale. 

MARCEL DUCHAMP 




SCHWITTERS, Kurt 



64. MERZBILD 31 BSTRAHLENDE WELT, 1920 



FOREWORD 



SINCE 1941, when Katherine S. Dreier and 
Marcel Duchamp presented the Collection 
of the Societe Anonyme to Yale, the several 
special exhibitions drawn from the extensive 
resources of the Collection have been designed 
to reinforce and extend the founders' primary 
purpose of furthering an intelligent under- 
standing and love of modern art. As Miss Dreier 
wrote in the catalogue of the Collection, pub- 
lished two years ago: "Our aim is primarily and 
always has been educational. For unlike other 
collections the Societe Anonyme started, and 
has continued its educational approach with- 
out the interference of personal taste." 

Until her death last March Miss Dreier con- 
stantly assisted in this work at Yale, with 
advice, encouragement, and not least, with 
significant loans from her own collection. 
Therefore it seems appropriate that we should 
honor her memory by presenting this selection 
from those modern works of art which she her- 
self selected to gratify the private taste she so 
scrupulously refrained from imposing upon her 
public activities. In such a collection we are 
privileged to see the most inward responses of 
a personality to the commanding appeal of 
contemporary art expression. The choices de- 
manded and the preferences expressed com- 
prise, in this context, the collector's confession 
of faith in man's highest form of creative 
expression. These, truly, are the things one 
believes in. 

In these terms Miss Dreier's collection offers 
many pertinent aspects, not least for those 
whose attendance here in recent years has 
brought a measure of familiarity with the wider 
historical and geographical range of the Col- 
lection of the Societe Anonyme. The two collec- 
tions supplement each other; the one intended 
for public instruction, the other for private con- 
templation. In the presence of these works we 
may to some extent approach her own deeply 
felt artistic experiences, especially those she 
shared with the men and women who have 
created what we now know as modern art. 
Here are important works by those who were 
her closest associates in the early years of the 
Societe Anonyme: Duchamp, Kandinsky, Cam- 



pendonk, and Man Ray. The peerless painting 
by Franz Marc recalls the quotation from his 
letters which she chose as the motto for the 
Societe Anonyme: "Traditions are beautiful — 
but to create them — not to follow." Here are 
three of Brancusi's finest sculptures; one of 
Mondrian's last large abstract compositions; a 
group of exquisite small paintings by Klee; 
constructions by Gabo and Pevsner, and a 
remarkable silverpoint by Joseph Stella, all 
artists whom Miss Dreier sponsored in their first 
or early American exhibitions. With few excep- 
tions the artists included in this exhibition were 
her friends. This may remind us that only those 
who commit their convictions to contemporary 
art have the incomparable privilege of know- 
ing those who bring it into being. In this connec- 
tion the special mark of her friendship distin- 
guishes the grouo of paintings by the German 
Expressionist and Abstract artists, whose works 
comprise one of the strongest and most valu- 
able groups in the Collection at Yale. 

How profoundly Miss Dreier knew and loved 
the progressive art of her time can be inferred 
from the chronology of the artists' lives. Of the 
forty included in this exhibition, more than half 
were born within the period from eight years 
before until ten years after her own birthdate 
of 1877. But she also possessed unflagging 
curiosity and interest in the art of generations 
younger than her own, as we can see in the 
fine drawing by Matta and in the colorful 
abstract composition by Dzubas, the young 
American painter whom she asked to design 
the recent catalogue of the Societe Anonyme. 

Another link between Miss Dreier's activity in 
education and her taste as a private collector 
may be seen in the six objects which were 
included in the catalogue of the Societe 
Anonyme but which she wished to retain in her 
home in Milford until her death. These are now 
olaced on exhibition at Yale for the first time. 
The Brancusi Yellow Bird, the paintings by 
Ernst and Villon, the sculpture by Kakabadze 
and Storrs, and her own early self-portrait, 
demonstrate again the wide range of her inter- 
ests, and her courageous support of artists 
whom the general public neglected as well as 



of those whom it later acclaimed. For we must 
never forget that Miss Dreier was more inter- 
ested in discovering and encouraging new 
talent, than in confirming that already recog- 
nized. 

The selection of her own paintings serves to 
remind us of the range of her style and the 
character of her own contribution to the mod- 
ern movement. The earliest was exhibited in 
the first exhibition, in 1917, of the Society of 
Independent Artists, of which she was one of 
the organizers; the latest hung near her at the 
end of her life. 



In order that we may the more fully under- 
stand and honor her as artist, collector, and 
teacher, this exhibition includes books and 
memorabilia from her library which she be- 
queathed to Yale. In these documents, and in 
her published works, will be found the record 
of an adventurous, courageous, and important 
life. Our world is the better for her lifelong 
vision of the spiritual significance of creative 
art. 



GEORGE HEARD HAMILTON 

Curator of the Collection 

of the Societe Anonyme 




KLEE, Paul 



38. GUTER TISCHPLATZ, 1922 



CATALOGUE 

In the following list dimensions are given in inches, height preceding width. 



ARCHIPENKO, Alexander 

American, born Russia 1887 



BAUMEISTER, Willi 

German, born 1889 

BRANCUSI, Constantin 

Roumanian, born 1876. Works in Paris 



BRAQUE, Georges 

French, born 1881 

BUCHHEISTER, Carl 

German, born 1890 

BURLIUK, David 

Russian, born 1882. Lives in New York 

CALDER, Alexander 

American, born 1898 



CAMPENDONK, Heinrich 

German, born 1889 
Director and 2nd Vice-President of the 
Societe Anonyme 



1. SCULPTO-PEINTURE: FEMME DEBOUT, 1920 
Painted plaster and wood, 19V4 x 12V 

2. STANDING FIGURE, 1919 
Bronze, Height 22V 8 " 

3. COMPOSITION 

Gouache and crayon on paper, 12*2 x 8 V 

4. LEDA, 1920 

Marble, Height, without base, 24" 

5. MAI ASTRA 

Marble, Height including base, 96" 

6. LITTLE FRENCH GIRL 
Wood, Height 49" 

7. MUSIC, 1914 

Oil on canvas, 36 x 23V2" 

8. SILBERRECHTECK-KOMPOSITION 28, 1928 
Oil on plywood panel, 31 v 8 x 18" 

9. RUSSIAN BOATMEN 

Oil on canvas, 1 3Vs x 17%" 

10. MOBILE 

Painted wood and metal, Height 33V 

11. MOBILE 

Painted metal and wire, Height 30 3 4" 

12. STABILE 

Painted metal, Height 13Vi" 

13. LISTENING, 1920 

Oil on canvas, 49 ] 4 x 37V 

14. BEGEBENHEIT MIT WASSERVOGEL, 1920 
Oil on canvas, 30 x 27" 

15. CRUCIFIXION 

Oil on glass, 17 3 4 x 2314" 



COVERT, John 

American, born 1882 



16. EX ACT 

Oil and painted wood on composition board, 
25V4 x 23V 4 " 



DREIER, Dorothea A. 

American, 1870-1923 



17. VIEW OF NEW YORK 
Oil on canvas, 26 x 20" 



DREIER, Katherine S. 

American, 1877-1952 
Founder and President of the Societe 
Anonyme, 1920-1952 



18. COMPOSITION 

Oil on canvas, 17 x 23" 

19. THECAT, 1933 

Oil on canvas, 23 3 4 x 28%" 

20. NO. 3 

Oil on canvas, 22 x 21" 

21. COURAGEOUS FAITH (TWILIGHT), 1936 
Oil on canvas, 23 x 39" 

22. COMPOSITION 

Oil on canvas, 1 6 x 18" 



DREWES, Werner 23. COMPOSITION IN GREEN, 1935 
German, born 1899. Lives in the U.S.A. Oil on masonite, 23 x 17" 

DUCHAMP, Marcel 24. DISTURBED BALANCE, 1918 
French, born 1887. Lives in New York Glass, paint, and collage, 20 x 16" 

City 

Co-founder and Secretary of the 25. TU M' 

Societe Anonyme, 1920- Oil and collage on canvas, 25 x 111" 



DZUBAS, Friedebald 

American, born Germany 1915 



26. ARMADA 

Oil and gold paint on canvas, 35 x 62" 



ERNST, Max 27. LE FORET 

German, born 1891. Lives in Arizona Oil on canvas, 45 3 /8 x 26V 

28. ILLUSION, 1929 

Oil on canvas, 31 5/ s x 25V 

GABO, Naum 29. CONSTRUCTION 

Born Russia, 1890. Lives in Connecticut White, black, and transparent plastic, 

Height 514" 



30. CONSTRUCTION 

Yellow plastic, Height 5U" 



GRIS, Juan 

Spanish, 1887-1927 



HALICKA, Alicia 

Born Poland, 1894. Lives in France 



31. ABSTRACTION IN BLUE AND YELLOW, NO. 1, 
1916 

Oil on canvas, 18 x 15" 

32. HAREM SCENE 

Cloth and paper collage, with paint, 
17x21V 4 " 



KANDINSKY, Vassily 
Russian, 1866-1944 
1st Vice-President of the Societe 
Anonyme, 1923-1944 



KLEE, Paul 

Swiss, 1879-1940 



33. COMPOSITION 

Water color on paper, 10% x 14%' 

34. COMPOSITION, STORM, 1913 
Oil on canvas, 36% x 30%" 

35. COMPOSITION 

Water color on paper, 1 2 14 x 15%" 

36. SCHNECKE, 1914 

Pen and ink on paper, 4% x 8V2" 

37. MIT DEM ROTEN X, 1914 
Water color on paper, 6% x 4!4" 

38. GUTER TISCHPLATZ, 1922 
Water color on paper, IOV2 x 16V8" 

39. URNEN SAMLUNG, 1922 
Water color on paper, 10% x 8V2" 

40. RECKER, 1924 

Mixed media, waxed, on paper, 

12 3 /8X6V4" 

41. BLUMEN GARTEN, 1924 
Gouache on paper, 14% x 8%" 

42. ALTESTADT ARCHITEKTUR, 1924 
Water color on paper, 9% x 7Va" 



LEGER, Fernand 

French, born 1881 



43. ARCHAEOLOGISCHE LANDSCHAFT, 1925 
Water color on paper, 6 7 /e x 10%" 

44. LES HELICES, 1918 

Oil on canvas, 31% x 25%" 



45. PERSONNAGES DANS UN JARDIN, 1922 
Oil on canvas, 25% x 36V8" 



LEHMBRUCK, Wilhelm 

German, 1881-1919 



46. FEMALE TORSO, 1910 
Cast stone, Height 45-V' 



LISSITZKY, El 

Russian, 1880-1947 



47. PROUN 19D 

Oil on plywood with collage, 38 x 38' 



MAN RAY 

American, born 1890 
1st Vice-President of the Societe 
Anonyme, 1920- 



48. ARCH OF TRIUMPH, 1923 
Oil on canvas, 19V2x24" 

49. LAMPSHADE, 1921 
Painted metal, Height 47 1 / 4 " 



MARC, Franz 

German, 1880-1916 



50. DEER IN THE FOREST 

Oil on canvas, 39 1 2 x 41" 



MARCOUSSIS, Louis 

Polish, 1883-1941. Worked in Paris 



51. STILL LIFE: VIOLIN, 1919 

Gouache and collage on paper, 
16 5 /8x9y 2 " 



MATARE, Ewald 

German, born 1887 



52. COW 

Bronze, Height 6 3 / 4 " 



MATTA 

Born Chile 1912. Has worked in 
New York and Europe 



53. CHENILLERE, 1939 

Black and colored pencils on paper, 
12% x 19%" 



MATISSE, Henri 

French, born 1 869 



54. LESBRASLEVES 

Charcoal on paper, 16 x 20V 



MIRO, Joan 

Spanish, born 1893 



55. COMPOSITION, 1926 

Oil on canvas, 23% x 28V 



MONDRIAN, Piet 

Dutch, 1872-1944. Worked in Paris 
and New York 



56. COMPOSITION, 1929 
Oil on canvas, 17 3/ 4 x 17V 

57. NO. 9, 1939-1942 

Oil on canvas, 31 Va x 29" 

58. TABLEAU I, 1926 

Oil on canvas, 44 3 4 x 44" 



PANNAGGI, Ivo 

Italian, born 1901 

PERI, Laszlo 

Hungarian, born 1889 



59. COLLAGE 

Pasted papers, 1 4 3 4 x 19V4" 

60. VOR DEM TISCH 

Gouache on cardboard, 25 x 34' 



PEVSNER, Antoine 

Born Russia 1886. Lives in Paris 



61. RELIEF CONSTRUCTION, 1929 
Plastic, 35% x 23%" 

62. TORSO 
Plastic, 22%" 



RIBEMONT-DESSAIGNES, Georges 63. 

French, born 1884 



SCH WITTERS, Kurt 

German, 1867-1948 



STELLA, Joseph 

American, 1877-1916 

STUCKENBERG, Fritz 

German, 1881-1944 

VILLON, Jacques 

French, born 1875 



SILENCE 

Oil on canvas, 36 x 28%' 



64. MERZBILD 31 B-STRAHLENDE WELT, 1920 
Oil and collage, 37% x 26 5 / 8 " 

65. CONSTRUCTION: MEMORIAL TO THE 
ARTIST'S FATHER 

Painted wood, Height 50" 

66. PORTRAIT OF MARCEL DUCHAMP 
Silverpoint on paper, 21 x 14" 

67. CONSTRUCTION 

Oil on canvas, 28% x 27%" 

68. COLOR PERSPECTIVE, 1921 
Oil on canvas, 28'/2 x 21 %" 

69. COLOR PERSPECTIVE, 1922 
Oil on canvas, 28% x 23%" 

70. THE LOVERS, 1926 

Oil on canvas, 23% x 31%" 



The following works of art were bequeathed by Miss Dreier to the Collection of 
the Societe Anonyme and are now exhibited at Yale as a group for the first time. 



BRANCUSI, Constantin 

Roumanian, born 1876 

DREIER, Katherine S. 

American, 1877-1952 

DUCHAMP-VILLON, Raymond 

French, 1876-1918 

KAKABADZE, David 

Russian (Georgian), born c. 1890 

STORRS, John 

American, born 1885 

VILLON, Jacques 

French, born 1 875 



71. YELLOW BIRD 

Marble, Height, including base, 86%" 

72. SELF PORTRAIT, 1911 
Oil on canvas, 20 x 16" 

73. SEATED WOMAN 
Bronze, Height 27" 

74. Z: THE SPEARED FISH 
Painted wood, Height 28" 

75. THE DANCER 

Painted plaster, Height, with base, 6% 

76. SKETCH FOR SELF PORTRAIT, c. 1930 
Oil on canvas, 14 x 11" 




LEGER, Fernand 



44. LES HELICES, 1918 




7. MUSIC, 1914 




DREIER, Katherine S. 



20. NO. 3 




MARC, Franz 



50. DEER IN THE FOREST 




PEVSNER, Antoine 



61. RELIEF CONSTRUCTION, 192? 



MAN RAY 



49. LAMP SHADE, 1921 





DUCHAMP, Marcel 



24. DISTURBED BALANCE, 1918 




KLEE, Paul 



_Ur-n#iL,SOi* tH*y~ 



39. URNEN SAMLUNG, 1922 




~f& 




BRANCUSI, Constantin 



6. LITTLE FRENCH GIRL 




VILLON, Jacques 



70. THE LOVERS, 1926 



Rebay 
N New Haven. Yale University Art 
hk Gallery 

.D771 KATHERINE S. DREIER: HSR OWN 
xN5Yl COLLECTION OF MODERN ART. 
New Haven, Yale University 



N New Haven. Yale Univer-." " 

kk sity Art Gallery 

.D771 KATHERINE S. DREIER; HER 

.xNSYJ M r.nrj.v /vncw nv Mcnmi-j 

ART. New Haven, Yale Uni- 



TITLE 



versity Art Gallery, p e p, . 
15, 1952-Feb. 1, 1953. 



DATE 
LOANED 



BORROWERS NAME 



DATE 
RETURNED